Ever have a character who enters a scene and just kind of stands there with no real purpose? Characters who are affected by their environment but have on impact on anything? Or perhaps a character you love but comes across as not relatable or unlikable?
I think this is one of the most important ways to correct floating head syndrome: give each character a goal, even if it never appears in the manuscript, because goals strongly influence action/behavior. Adding unique mannerism/traits to characters gives them extra depth and can also help readers figure out who’s talking without you telling them. One of my favorite resources for this is Writer’s Guide to Character Traits by Dr. Linda Edelstein. Give characters a unique voice. Everyone has a different rhythm in the way they speak, a preference of one word over another or the amount of words they use.
These are just a few suggestions on creating dynamic characters. Do floating heads pop up in your writing? What methods do you use to fix them?